100 Red Lanterns


Centennial festivities kick off Friday, February 6 at Portage Place

Winnipeg’s Chinese community is kicking off Chinatown’s 100th anniversary by displaying 100 bright red lanterns throughout downtown. Dr. Joseph N.H. Du with the Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre will officially kick off the celebrations on Friday, February 6 at 10:30am at Portage Place, second level, west end, near the top of the Staples escalator.

Large red lanterns will line Portage Place’s west skywalk and hallways and a Chinese musician will give a sneak preview of more entertainment happening in Chinatown on Saturday.

The Winnipeg Chinese Cultural and Community Centre (WCCCC) partnered with the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and Portage Place to bring the celebrations outside of Chinatown’s boundaries to all of downtown. The lanterns will be hung indoors and were sent from the Chinese government to mark the district’s centennial.

Lanterns will be on display for most of the year in Chinatown including the cultural centre and Kum Koon Gardens, as well as in downtown locations including Portage Place and the Millennium Library.

“We wanted to let the larger downtown community know that Chinatown has been here for 100 years,” says Dr. Du. “By placing lanterns throughout downtown, we’re reaching more people to join in the celebrations.”

To celebrate their centennial, the WCCCC will have an open house on Saturday, February 7 at the cultural centre at 180 King Street, with a lion dance, cultural performances, a magician from China and authentic cuisine—all free and open to the public. The Open House starts at 10am, with performances between 2pm and 4pm. The Portage Place kick-off will include a sneak peak of some of the festivities at the WCCCC’s Open House, with some musical entertainment.

“All of downtown is celebrating Chinatown having been a wonderful part of downtown for 100 years,” says Stefano Grande, Downtown BIZ executive director. “Chinatown is such a rich part of downtown Winnipeg, we figured this was a great fit.”

The bright red nylon lanterns hanging in Portage Place lead to a display of the 42 submissions to the annual Chinese New Year banner competition run by the BIZ and WCCCC.

Fifteen banners of the winning Year of the Ox design were raised in Chinatown last week to mark the Chinese New Year.

Visit www.downtownwinnipegbiz.com <http://www.downtownwinnipegbiz.com>  for more information.